What Camp Means to Me

My first experience at Northern Frontier was being dropped off by my parents at the age of 17 for a summer of being a junior counselor. Never having been a camper, I wondered what I was getting myself into as we made our way down the camp road. The summer seemed long and stretched me in many ways, but the inspiring leadership of Captains Ralph, Budd, Chris, and Mike and the friendships formed with my co-counselors brought me back for a total of four summers (’09, ’10, ’11, ’14).  

I was committed to living for Christ before I got to camp, but being a part of the ministry of NF helped my faith grow in action. I was able to share in the rich tradition of bible study and fellowship, and then be encouraged to share the faith with new campers each week. In many ways, I felt personally inadequate for the job, but God was faithful and I was blessed to see campers grow despite my deficiencies.  

I always liked being outside, but camp gave me a real love for the outdoors.  My first summer I would use my days off to retreat to the “civilization” of Saratoga Springs, but in the later years, I used those precious days to venture into the high peaks for long days of hiking.  My first summer, the camp road seemed endless. But in the later years, I found myself waking up even earlier than the leaders’ huddle to run the road with a few good friends. 

Before our overnight hikes, Captain Ralph would encourage us to act as “a mature, 35-year-old father” towards the campers. The weight of the responsibility of taking a cabin of 12 to 14-year-old boys into the woods was not lost on me. Now I find myself a husband and father of three who is approaching the 35-year-old milestone. Many times, the responsibilities God has given me in adulthood continue to challenge me (and sometimes I feel worn out like it’s week 5 at camp!), but just like at NF, I can rest in the knowledge that Jesus Christ and a host of believers walk alongside me. I’m so thankful to God for the Adirondack summers that sharpened my integrity, sense of responsibility, and faith.

Picture of Jake Miller

Jake Miller

Summer staff 2009-11, 14

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